Aguirre slams Gordon’s blue ribbon committee report
After being branded of displaying a “cavalier attitude,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II slammed on Wednesday the Senate blue ribbon committee report in connection with Senate’s investigation into the smuggling of P6.4-billion illegal drugs from China.
The draft report prepared by Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said that it seemed Aguirre did not give attention to the issue and had left the matter to the National Bureau Investigation (NBI), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and his subordinates.
“He (Aguirre) created the impression that he was too busy with other things. Not felt or not put through to the Committee was a sense of urgency, a sense that speed was an imperative. He gave the impression that he did not give this case the needed attention,” the report said.
But Aguirre disputed the claims in the report, noting that he even issued an immigration look-out bulletin order against some of the respondents in the case.
“I vehemently deny that because his observations are absolutely without any basis, except for the fact that I have many things to do,” Aguirre said.
A panel of prosecutors has already started the preliminary investigation into the case filed by the NBI and the PDEA, Aguirre said.
The panel will determine if there is probable cause to warrant the filing of the complaint before the trial court.
The PDEA accused Faeldon and 11 other Bureau of Customs officials and employees before the DOJ of conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protecting drug traffickers, in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act or Republic Act 9165.
Aside from Faeldon, PDEA named in the charge sheet BOC directors Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Anthony Estrella; intelligence officers Joel Pinawin and Oliver Valiente; Manila International Container Port district collector Vincent Phillip Maronilla; Faeldon’s lawyer Jeline Maree Magsuci; BOC employees Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo and John Edillor.
The agency also accused the BOC officials of obstruction of justice for “harboring, concealing or facilitating the escape” of those behind the 605-kilo shipment, including Richard Chen, the owner of Hongfei Philippines, the supposed importer of the shipment. /jpv
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